Creative Directors, Saatchi & Saatchi
TRUST sits down with Saatchi & Saatchi Creative Directors Mike Pierantozzi and Mason Hedgecoth to discuss Luvs “Lullaby Lift,” breaking the mold with non-traditional media, and teaming with California Amish Directors Tank and Bunker to get the best out of Brooklyn parents.
What are some of your favorite projects to have worked on with Saatchi & Saatchi?
Mike Pierantozzi: “Lullaby Lift” was pretty much the first project I worked on at Saatchi. The non-traditional media idea was based on an insight that parents of infants and toddlers often drive their kids around to help them fall asleep. This happens everywhere in America, except in the city with the most new parents per capita – Brooklyn, NY – because most parents there don’t have cars. So we set up a Twitter-powered car service where parents could tweet for a Lullaby Lift and our custom cars would pick them and their baby up and drive them around until the baby fell asleep. The crazy thing is that it actually worked. Hundreds of moms tweeted at us and we gave dozens of rides over two nights. It was a great project that came out of a simple idea and insight that was pulled off in a short amount of time.
Mason Hedgecoth: The Luvs project has been fun. I worked on it from conception until now, so that comes with a sense of ownership. The fact that the work has been greeted with a warm reaction from both critics and moms just adds to the sense of pride. Our Miller64 project also offered some good times; who doesn’t love a good drinking song, even if it is healthy?
Who are some creatives working today whose work you find particularly inspiring?
MP: I don’t really know famous creatives per se. Except Mason. I find him inspiring. I love what Droga5 is doing. I guess he’s a creative. Dave Droga. I find him inspiring. And that guy Publicis. He’s amazing.
MH: I’m not really a name remember-er, but I’ve always been inspired by the folks I’m around working with day to day. Some names that come to mind from current and past gigs are John Cornette, Grant Mason, Michael Ma, Bee Reynolds, Nancy Strange, Rob Omadiagbe.
Aside from your recent Luvs campaign, what are some compelling ways in which agencies are breaking the mold with non-traditional projects?
MP: The IBM outdoor campaign is amazing. So simple and smart. I think when you are doing non-traditional work, the same rules you follow for doing TV or print hold true. Simple and smart ideas that tap into or promote a human truth in an interesting way that hasn’t been done before. Except you have to do it online or on a urinal or something.
MH: It’s a tough thing to do, to let go of total control of your messaging and really let it be an honest exchange between the customer and the brand. I’m not sure if anyone has really done anything that has gotten me really excited about non-traditional, but I love the IBM smarter cities work, the billboards that function as something useful. I think when brands use something as small as a tweet to comment on pop culture happenings in a real and honest way, that’s a win too. The stuff that really astonishes people is showing them something new, or showing them something they know but in a new light. I think no matter the medium, work that does that can break the mold.
Tell us about your experience working with California Amish Directors Tank and Bunker. How did you collaborate to bring the creative brief for Luvs to life?
MP: California Amish did an amazing job. Everything from the beautiful film they shot to the interviews. It was a tough logistical shoot and they pulled it off more or less hitch-free. They got tons of great stuff out of the parents we picked up, enough to make about 10 videos along with the online video we created for the program.
MH: The Amish guys were tireless partners. Literally, they worked almost non-stop when it came to shooting these nighttime vignettes. But they brought the creative vision to life in a real, approachable, and exciting way. Their interviews got inside the heads of our folks, and they covered all the angles as for how we’d shoot it, so we ended up with an embarrassment of riches in the edit.
What were some challenges and anecdotes from working on the Luvs campaign?
MP: We didn’t have a lot of time to take bathroom breaks, so it was good to have all those Luvs diapers around.
MH: We had a wonderful team who came together, literally again, in a 6’x6′ square hotel room to pull this off, and loved every minute of it. We had very little media to promote the program, so when the twitter started lighting up with results, we all breathed a collective sigh of relief, and come our bedtime, slept a little easier.